Where? Cheaha State Park, Alabama Trail can be accessed from the Talladega Scenic Highway (AL-281) near the Turnipseed Campground or by turning off Cheaha Road onto Lake Chinnabee Road. Both trail entrances have paved parking.GPS coordinates: N 33.444101 E -85.841406 for the trailhead near Turnipseed Campground. For the preferred trailhead and shorter route to Devil’s Den: 33.4608135 -858741852 . For the LOVE. Get a trail map when you enter the park.
Trail Length: The entire trail is a 7.3 mile out and back, but from the parking lot of the Chinabee Silent Trail to Devil’s Den swimming hole, it’s only a little over a mile one way.
How hard we talking’? Assuming you are driving to the parking area at the bottom of the mountain, next to Lake Chinabee, this is an easy to moderate hike. If you’re doing the entire 7.3 mile loop, it’s a moderate hike.
Can I swim there? Yes! The water stays high enough to swim, even in late summer months where water levels are generally low in rivers and streams.
Any other details? The water is deep enough to jump off the falls. You can exit the water and climb up to the trail above, or climb up the side of the falls.
This area floods pretty quickly during a quick summer rainstorm and during any rain at all really. There are signs warning you of such, but if you get caught in one, you will quickly see that this area is a watershed for the surrounding mountains. All of that rain comes rushing down in all directions from the surrounding hills. We’ve been caught in this before, and it’s both a site to behold and a scary experience.
I’ve never seen a crowd at Devil’s Den. There are typically 2-3 other groups there, but we’ve also been the only ones. If you go during the week or early morning, you’re almost sure to get the place to yourself.
Leave no trace: Leave it better than you found it.